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Caroline Burckle earned NCAA runner-up honors for the second time in her career on Thursday.

Thursday March 8, 2007Burckle Takes Silver, Spofforth Breaks Record On Day One Of NCAA Championships

Minneapolis, MN

Caroline Burckle earned NCAA runner-up honors for the second time in her career on Thursday.

A 13-year old school record in the 100 back was broken twice and junior Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) earned the 10th All-America honor of her career on Thursday, placing second in the 500 free with a time of 4:38.28 on day one of the 2007 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Florida stands in seventh place with 61 points after the first day of competition.

 

“We were really good this morning, and that led to a good day overall,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “There were a few places where we thought we could have gone faster, but there’s always room for improvement. It was the start we needed to have a good meet.”

 

The time of 4:38.28 that Burckle posted in her finals swim not only bettered the personal-best mark of 4:38.32 that she set at the 2005 SEC Championships, but also lowered her own second-place standing in the Florida record books for the 500 free. The performance marked the second time that Burckle – the team’s active leader in All-America honors – claimed national runner-up honors in the event, and the third time in as many collegiate seasons that she has earned All-America distinction in her signature event.

 

“Caroline had big swims in the 500 both times out,” Troy said. “That event suits her well because she has a good base of speed and some distance background. She’s already had six swims, so we need Caroline to bounce back and swim tough for us tomorrow.”

 

Junior Kim Larson (Longwood, Fla.) placed 13th in the 500 free with a time of 4:44.05 during the finals session. The finish earned Larson her first individual All-America honor, and her third overall. In Thursday morning’s prelims, she turned in a career-best time of 4:43.43 that narrowly missed placing her in UF’s all-time top-10.

 

Junior Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) was the third Gator to capture an individual All-America honor on Thursday, touching seventh in the consolation final of the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:00.91 to finish 15th. The honorable mention All-America recognition was the seventh of her career, and her first in the 200 IM. Retrum posted a season-best time of 1:59.28 in prelims.

 

“It’s rough for Leah to have to start out with the 200 IM because it’s not one of her better events, but she came through with a good swim in the morning,” Troy said. “Both Leah and Kim showed a lot of character with the way they raced today. Kim Larson has really come a long way for us, and those points are valuable for our team.”

 

The 200 FR team of freshman Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.), junior Natalie Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) freshman Elizabeth Kemp (Potomac, Md.) and sophomore Lauren Winter (Perth, Australia) placed fifth in the B final with a time of 1:30.54 on the meet’s first night. Their clocking was good for fifth in the all-time Florida annals, and gave them a 13th-place finish. In the morning, the squad of Burckle, Napier, Pike and Kemp churned out the second-fastest time in school history (1:30.38), while Burckle’s leadoff split of 22.75 was a career-best time in the 50 free and ranked seventh in program history.

 

The quartet of freshman Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England), Burckle, Winter and Pike wrapped up day one with a fourth-place finish in the 400 MR with a time of 3:35.72 that marked the third-fastest time in school history. Spofforth shattered the school record in the 100 back on the leadoff leg, posting a split of 53.00 and surpassing Janie Wagstaff’s record of 53.48 from 1994. The same group qualified fourth during the morning session with a time of 3:35.29, notching another mark that rated second on the UF charts. Spofforth clocked a 53.13 on the leadoff leg, establishing a school standard that she eclipsed during finals.

 

“We did a great job in the relays today, and the 400 medley was a big-time swim for us,” Troy said. “Some of our people came through with great individual performances. I’m really proud of the way Gemma Spofforth swam the backstroke, breaking the school record twice. She’s a great kid who loves intense competition, and I don’t think such an honor could go to a better person.”

 

During the morning’s prelims, sophomore Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.) turned in a career-best 4:46.67 in the 500 free during prelims to take 23rd, while junior Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio) placed 36th (4:49.79) and sophomore Stephanie Cota (Granite Bay, Calif.) finished 56th (4:53.65).

 

Pike also set a career best during Thursday’s prelims, clocking a time of 2:00.13 that was good for a 23rd-place finish and ranked as the 10th-fastest in school history. Senior Ashley Carusone (High Springs, Fla.) finished 40th in the event with a time of 2:01.80. Napier finished 17th in the 50 free (22.64), and Kemp swam to a 50th-place finish with a career-best 23.18.

 

Women’s swimming action will continue from University Aquatics Center on Friday at noon EST, and the divers will hit the water at approximately 1 p.m. EST. See below for schedule of events. Live results can be found at www.ncaasports.com.

 

Team Top-10 Through Day One

1. Arizona – 168 pts.

2. Auburn – 155

3. Stanford – 123.5

4. California – 98

5. Georgia – 86

6. Texas A&M – 82.5

7. FLORIDA – 61

8. Michigan – 57

T9. Texas – 54

T9. Kentucky – 54

 

Day One Event Winners

Event

Name (School)

Time

200 FR

Jackson, Nymeyer, Turner, Kelly (Arizona)

1:27.23^@#%

500 Free

Adrienne Binder (Auburn)

4:36.96

200 IM

Whitney Myers (Arizona)

1:54.89%

50 Free

Kara Lynn Joyce (Georgia)

21.71%

1M Dive

Cassidy Krug (Stanford)

361.55

400 MR

Rogers, Hardy, Vollmer, Silver (California)

3:30.18^@#%

^ - Denotes NCAA record

@ - Denotes American record

# - Denotes US Open record

% - Denotes pool record

 

Day One Prelims Winners

Event

Name (School)

Time

200 FR

Brady, Kelly, H. Smith, L. Smith (Michigan)

1:28.82

500 Free

CAROLINE BURCKLE (FLORIDA)

4:39.36

200 IM

Ava Ohlgren (Auburn)

1:56.52

50 Free

Kara Lynn Joyce (Georgia)

21.79

1M Dive

Nastasia Podzniakova (Houston)

349.55

400 MR

Rogers, Hardy, Vollmer, Silver (California)

3:32.47

 

Florida Finishes

500 Free

2. Caroline Burckle – 4:38.28

13. Kim Larson – 4:44.05

23. Laurabeth Guenthner – 4:46.67

36. Katie Ball – 4:49.79

56. Stephanie Cota – 4:53.65

 

200 IM

15. Leah Retrum – 2:00.91

23. Natalie Pike – 2:00.13

40. Ashley Carusone – 2:01.80

 

50 Free

17. Stephanie Napier – 22.64

50. Elizabeth Kemp – 23.18

 

Schedule of Events – Day Two

200 Medley Relay

400 IM

100 Fly

200 Free

100 Breast

3M Dive

100 Back

 

 

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